When my son was little, he made up his two-year-old mind that he wanted to be just like his daddy and build things. He watched my husband with a careful eye. Tyler would want to help his dad in the garage but of course it was too dangerous to let a toddler use the kind of tools his dad uses. So inevitably we bought him his own Little Tykes work bench and tool set.
Oh how he loved that set! He would want that bench out first thing in the morning and he only stopped working on it for short breaks. Tyler would want to know what Jeremy had worked on that day when he got home from work so he could imitate his dad the next day on his tool bench. He strapped on his mini-sized toolbelt and put all the little plastic tools in there that he’d thought he would need for the pretend project. There were chunky hard plastic nails, screws, and bolts in the bench. Tyler would hammer those nails with the Little Tykes hammer which was his favorite tool. He would then take his little screwdriver and tighten the bolts. I had given him a sewing style tape measure to use as well. Whenever I would ask him what he was working on, he unsurprisingly said what ever it was his daddy was working on.
As I watched Tyler working intently at his bench, I noticed that he began to move like Jeremy did. He began to stick a pretend pencil (whatever pencil like object he could find) behind his ear like his dad did. He started wanting to wear a baseball hat like Jeremy did. Simply put… he wanted to be just like his father.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (ESV). This verse makes me think of my son imitating his father just as we should imitate our Father. We should seek to have His forgiveness toward others. We should imitate His merciful love. We should mirror His selfless generosity. Just as Tyler watched his father closely and wanted to know what it was he was doing so he could do it too, we need to watch our Father closely. We need to ask Him what to do so we can imitate Him and what He does.
Ya know, Tyler still wants to do things the way his father does them. He has watched, learned and is now imitating him on a larger scale. Oh, and we let him use real tools now! It warms my heart to see my son at almost nineteen, still want to be the kind of man his Dad is. Tyler is a carpenter’s son and learned from his father how to honor God as well as how to be a skilled craftsman. I know my husband is not Joseph and my son is not the Savior of the world, but I love the similarity to that imagery.
I want to learn from my son how to imitate my Father… my Heavenly Father. I long to have others see Him in me. I want to love like Jesus loves. I want to give like Jesus gives. I want to see others the way Jesus does. How about you?